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The Alki-Manchester Ferry served cross-sound automobile and passenger traffic from April 12, 1925 until January 13, 1936. The ferry’s Alki dock was located at 3001 Alki Avenue adjacent to the Alki Beach Park. The ferry was a venture of Harry W. Crosby. Crosby operated the ferry for thirteen months before selling it to the Puget Sound Navigation Company operators of the Black Ball Line ferry fleet and service. In the midst of turbulent Great Depression labor strife, the Black Ball Line bought out its cross-sound ferry competitor, Kitsap County Transportation Company, and achieved a monopoly on Seattle and environs ferry service.
The Black Ball Line then eliminated the Alki-Manchester ferry offering. Failure of labor to demand minimum levels of ferry sailings, hence the total availability of work and job security, hastened the Alki ferry’s demise. If the Alki ferry had survived and prospered from Seattle’s growing economy, the Alki neighborhood environmental quality and Alki Beach Park would have become endangered by an expanding dock and automobile traffic, congestion and parking demands. The festive dock opening dedication of April 1925 would have given way to a late twentieth century urban misery.
Please click on Word or PDF to read “Bridge The Sound, The Alki-Manchester Ferry”. PDF is recommended.